Hello everyone and welcome to my countdown of my top 50 games of all time.
I’ve only been really into this hobby for a few years and unfortunately, I haven’t played quite enough games to make a top 100, but I can do a top 50. For this list, I excluded traditional card games (Euchre, Solitaire etc.). I also excluded games I’ve only played online or via an app.
With that being said, lets get into the list. This is part 1 of 5, covering my games numbered 50 to 41.
I know, I know, I have a post on this blog dedicated to a game you should play instead of Scrabble. If I hadn’t only played Paperback on the app, it would’ve been included on this list for sure.
Despite this, I do actually enjoy Scrabble most of the time, unless I’m down to three letters and they happen to be J, Q, and Z. I love word games and language and Scrabble really plays into that. If you have never played Scrabble, the basics are this: players take turns putting down words built from the tiles they have on their tile rack. Each word must intersect with a previously played word. Each letter played has a point value as dictated on the bottom right corner of the tile. These points are added up, along with any bonus squares played on, indicated by a different colour and text. The player with the most points wins.
Scrabble is not my word game of choice (that will come later on), but if someone wants to play it, I’ll definitely join in.
Balderdash is another word game, but of a different vein than Scrabble. In Balderdash, one player reads a word from a card. Usually it’s a very obscure English word. All other players then write down what they think the definition of the word is and hand in their sheet to the person reading the card. The player reading the card writes down the actual definition of the word, found on the back of the card, and adds it to the pile of responses. The player then reads the responses out loud and all other players then vote for which response they believe is the correct definition. If they’re right, they get a point. If they’re wrong, the player whose response they voted for receives a point. There are also points given if a player writes down a correct definition.
A follow-up edition, entitled Absolute Balderdash (later Beyond Balderdash) adds different categories to the fun. Along with the classic words, there are people, movie titles, initialisms, and dates, for which players must come up with an appropriate response, whether it be a description of what the person is known for, the plot of the film listed, what the acronym stands for, or what event falls on the date listed. This I think makes the game more accessible and more fun for all. The standard version of Balderdash available for purchase now features the extra categories that were in Absolute/Beyond Balderdash.
I personally have older editions of this game, but have still found it fun in today’s day and age, so age of the game doesn’t have much of a factor in this. Balderdash is a fun party game for everyone.
48. Forbidden Island
In Forbidden Island, players are trying to collect treasures from an island that is continuously sinking throughout the game. Players take turns moving pawns around the board which is constantly changing as tiles begin to disappear as they have “sunk”. Players must work together to collect the treasures and keep the island from sinking with them on it.
Forbidden Island was the very first co-operative game I ever played, and I’m not sure what it was, but while I did enjoy the game enough to put it on this list, I’m not as enamored with it as many people are. Perhaps more plays would prove this wrong, but as my husband really disliked the game, I don’t think that’ll be happening any time soon. I also haven’t tried Forbidden Desert, which I have heard is a step up from Forbidden Island, but I am willing to try that one.
47. Trivial Pursuit
I love trivia. I’m a database of useless information and obscure facts. Perhaps that is why I like Trivial Pursuit. I know there are a lot of better trivia games out there which don’t have the luck factor that Trivial Pursuit has, but I still enjoy it. I guess it’s kind of a guilty pleasure for me.
For those who haven’t played, the object of Trivial Pursuit is to complete a “pie” with a different coloured piece from 6 different categories: Geography (blue), Entertainment (pink), History (yellow), Arts & Literature (brown or purple, depending on the edition), Science & Nature (green) and Sports & Leisure (orange). Players obtain these pieces by moving around the board via die rolls and answering trivia questions from these different categories.
46. Kittens In A Blender
Hear me out on this one. This game sounds worse than it is. Yes, the game involves blending kittens. I know that sounds awful, but trust me, this one is actually pretty fun.
Kittens in a Blender is at its core a simple card game where the object is to save as many of your kittens as possible while also trying to destroy your opponents kittens by blending them. Each player is dealt six cards. Kitten cards can be played in three different spots: The Blender (one half of the game box with the large blender card placed inside), the Counter (an empty spot beside the Blender), and the Box (the other half of the game box with a large box card placed inside). Action cards are played in front of each player. Action cards do a variety of things, from moving all the kittens from one of the three locations to another, forcing everyone to switch hands, or yes, blending the kittens currently in the Blender. These kittens can be saved by another player playing a pulse card which nullifies the blending. If this does not occur, the kittens currently in the Blender are removed from the game and will count against players, the kittens on the Counter move into the Blender, and the kittens in the Box are saved and will count towards a players final score. On a turn, a player plays two cards, then draws back up to six. After all blend cards are played, the game ends and the player with the most points from saved kittens wins.
Honestly, I had a lot more fun with this than the other horrible sounding cat game, Exploding Kittens, and the artwork in this game is very cute and well done.
You know how I mentioned my word game of choice previously? This is it. I absolutely love Boggle. I first encountered the game when I was in grade 4 at an after-school program I went to and it’s been a favourite ever since.
Boggle involves making words by using a grid of letter dice. The only rule is that the letter of a word must touch the next one, either orthogonally or diagonally. Players are all working from the same grid and must try to come up with as many words as they can in the allotted time. Then, players compare their lists and receive points only for unique words on their list.
44. Legendary Creatures
Released earlier this year by Pencil First Games, Legendary Creatures is a game played over three “days”, each with a Morning, Afternoon and Evening phase. Each phase, players draw 4 cards from their individual creature decks and play 3, and send one on an expedition. Different creatures each have different actions associated and as such, order can be very important. After the cards are played, players then choose a specific realm to move forward in, using their faction represented by lovely custom creature meeples. This is repeated each phase, with the evening phase having a final expedition which grants players “renown” (VPs) or other resources.
I enjoyed my play of this game, but it can be kind of lengthy for what it is, which is why it isn’t higher on my list. The custom meeples and artwork are A+ though.
Imaginiff is an older game that my sister picked up at Walmart on a whim. It turned out to be a rather fun, silly party game that involves voting for answers or people, but does so in a family friendly way.
In Imaginiff, players are given imaginary scenarios (hence, the name of the game) where another player is the subject of this scenario. The players then vote, including the player mentioned, on one of the multiple choice answers given on the card. For example, the scenario is “Imagine if _____ were a sport. Which would they be?”. Then there are 6 possible answers given: “Golf”, “Basketball”, “Ice Skating”, “Boxing”, “Mud Wrestling”, or “Football”. The players would all then vote on which of these they feel best suits the person. Points are then given to the players who choose the most popular answer.
I found this was a really great game for getting to know each other, but in a way that doesn’t demean or demoralize. The cards are all pretty tame and in good fun.
42. The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game
I have a confession to make. I’ve never played The Castles of Burgundy. I have however played this little roll and write iteration of the game and I really enjoyed it. So much so that I’m definitely interested in trying the original game.
The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game is pretty simple in its execution, as are most roll and writes. One player rolls the five dice, then each player chooses a colour and number combination on those dice to use on their sheet. A hex can only be filled in if it is touching another hex that has already been filled in, and each colour of hex has certain rules pertaining to which numbers can be written in them. The neat thing about this game is there is one die which acts as a timer for the game. The game has a set number of rounds, but depending on whether one or two hourglasses are rolled, these rounds can end up being fewer. There are also special actions that players can take as marked on their boards which I thought brought a bit of strategy to the game that isn’t present in all roll and writes.
41. Battle Line
Battle Line is a lovely little card game designed by Reiner Knizia. The version I played featured this lovely medieval retheme instead of the Roman theme of the commercially available GMT version.
Battle Line is played with 9 fields. On their side of the fields, players will play out a “poker hand” of three cards from their hand and whichever side has the higher poker value wins the field. The object of the game is to claim 5 of the 9 fields or claim 3 adjacent fields. There are also tactics cards which give players special actions or abilities that alter the game.
As much as I loved the artwork of the rethemed version I played, this game could really have any theme and still be fun. It’s definitely one I recommend.
And that’s it for this part of my countdown. Please check for part 2 soon.